Tuesday, 29 April 2008

Pole work = forward!

well today it did.
Took Ali in the school today,M helped with the pole's as she was keen to watch and see us in action.I started with some grids adding poles crossed over each other making it more and more complex he has fabulous balance and body awareness always seeming to know where to put his feet.
We then went onto the fan,first with them all on the ground then building them up so some were raise some higher than others etc.He started off distracted but clattering the poles sharp brought his attention back to the job in-hand:) He had a spook at a dog running round the yard then a couple of horse riders trotting up the lane excited him which resulted in him bouncing around in canter and doing some quite spectacular leaps over the poles.I just kept him going until he settled down and was trotting over them nicely again but even before the excitement he was pretty forward and keen he was warm after it all!

The new dentist came this morning he just wanted to have a look today as Polo's had teeth problems in the past requiring drill work.Dentist said Polo's teeth were in pretty good shape which is good and Ali's mouth is good certainly nothing to cause him to be difficult...so he's coming back in August to do them both.

Polo had a hack out and was a good lad walking well although still dropping occasionally cant wait for the physio to come out see what he thinks is going on.I did read on Richard Maxwell's site that someone had a horse with soundess problems,vets were convinced it the foreleg but turned out the horse had a cyst like legion in the shoulder joint which was the result of a trauma at some point in the horses life further complicated by arthritis kicking in. Apparently the horse has had a steroid injection into the joint and they are waiting to see if it will be rideable and if it will need to be on bute long term.I do wonder if something similar could be whats going on with Polo he did have an infected elbow joint?This horse is a lot younger than Polo so if this is the case he's not done too badly getting to his age without problems till now.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Little #~$%!

Blumming AliG is cruising for trouble he's really made me mad today!

Rode them both yesterday Polo had a plod up the lane with dogs in tow,they are having a whale of a time at the minute at there are rabbits everywhere:)
Took AliG for the same ride its not far but he felt jumpy and a bit on edge I thought he was maybe a bit rattled as it was the first hack out since I came off.
So today I decide to lunge him for 5/10mins then go out for a hack with Marina to build his confidence back up.He was snorting when I lunge him in the top field and trying to dictate the direction so I made him work quite hard and he got a few good shoves out with my body language when he was falling in making him leap in the air.
He was blowing time he finish so off we went on the hack.Honestly he can be so slow and backward thinking it was seriously bugging me!We got off the lane onto the track and the ears pinned and he started the funny business, I'd left the pressure halter on and had the long rope we use for the RMaxwell groundwork so I thought i'd get off and work him on the circle.He knew it was coming so tried to back up (boy he's strong)I put pressure on to get him to move forward so he tried to rear I stepped onto an angle stopping him and hopefully giving him enough discomfort with the halter to make him think twice about doing that again!
The circling didnt seem to be having much effect so I decided to lead him in the direction he didnt want to go in and make him go infront I really made him walk out and everytime he scowled at Ellie he got a sharp jerk on the halter,I dont think the problem is with the other horse at all its just like he gets mad and takes it out on them.
So I marched him on infront to the end of the track where I had to turn back and sure enough the ears came up and Mr Nice guy returned!!!
It really goes against the grain for me to get off I feel like im admitting defeat but A)when he rears he's full up literally a few degrees off going over and Im not risking that,B) I get mad and just want to wallop him which gets no results from him other than more of a battle..he just that type of horse and c) leading him got him to go where I wanted him to go with little problem and stopped me getting quite so mad so I suppose im going to have to get over the feeling of 'losing'.
Im feeling incredibly frustrated with him he's so backward thinking and bloody lazy its driving me mad im just not used to this. I think the enthusiasm of the early rides was because it was all new M said its almost like he's said yeah done that and frankly I cant be ar#ed now......even in the school he does the bare mininum.
How the heck do I get this horse to have some enthusiasum for doing anything other than eating?!?

Friday, 25 April 2008

Much to take in

Been pretty quiet this past week or two and I apologise for not being 'noticable' on your own blogs..I have been keeping track though:)
I went down to Rachel for St Pirans last weekend and it was intense,fabulous and exhausing all at the same time,ive been completely shattered at work all week from the weekend and cos I was so fired up to try out all the new 'stuff' I picked up!:)))

I had an absolutely amazing trip im still struggling to remember everything but i'll have a shot at giving a brief taster on what we worked on.
Friday I arrived got changed and was straight on board having a lesson on Fichaje,a lovely Andalusian stallion,so Rachel could assess my riding.Rachel is a very positive instructor and said Fich was going very nicely for me and I was basically a nice little rider requiring some tweeking.
Strangly I am stronger on one rein in trot but then better on the opposite rein in canter...I also struggle to put the weight in my right stirrup.
Rachel's physio was down for the weekend too so we had some demo's on exercises to stretch the horse and the impact we make when we ride them.Im a bit jumbled about what happened when but over the weekend Celia and Rachel demo'd pole work to strengthen the horse's core,I had a physio session where Celia assessed my posture giving me lots of exercises to try and straighten and help with my neck and shoulders.She said she could manipulate me til the cows come home but if I dont do the exercises to deal with root cause then it will just keep coming back.I also still had a touch of whiplash with coming off AliG so I think she was pretty gentle with me:)..I have been doing the exercises and the tightness in my upper back is definately easing:)
I also had a lesson with Celia assessing my position talking me through what im doing wrong and how to correct this,im to fill my right side lung with air to help lift my rib which will help release that 'side' enabling me to put weight in the right stirrup.I also over flex my lower back basically cos my upper back and shoulders are so stiff and tight.
I then watched Rachel ride 'B' he's her lovely grey Andi stallion, she showed me lots of exercises I can be starting AliG with.Neck flexes,how to use my core to control their movement,moving onto leg yielding and shoulder in.It was fabulous to watch B literally canters from Rachels exhale!
I then had a lesson on Fichaje practicing the flexes,it was absolutely incredible to feel him completely lighten and work purely on the weight of the reins ive never felt anything like it.
Sunday we totally crammed it in and I had a gentle lunge lesson to help me loosen up,I was seriously stiff at this point.I then had a crack at pole work with B, who's an expert, then got to try it with one of Rachel's new stallions Giganton who's never done any polework at all.He is a huge boy and will be quite some horse when he grows into himself anyway he loved the polework and got very keen but still staying sensible.
I then had a final lesson on Fich doing the flexes and some leg yield and shoulder in..what a fabulous boy he is only 5 but so level headed and will only give you when you ask properly the perfect school master:)
I cant put it into words how much I gained from the weekend,how brilliant Rachel teaches and how fabulous the horses are and boy do they work hard.Rachel and Paul both work full time,have 17horse's,including 2mares who were about to foal,4/5(?)stallions and 5in full work plus have two kids..dont know how they keep going!
Ive still got two rides owing as we couldnt squeeze anymore in so im going to try and get down again in August when im off.

Anyway this week ive been ready to drop but fired up with it all so have introduced AliG to poles which went well,had a ridden session with him doing the neck flexes and rode Polo 3times so im pooped but feel I have a game plan now,finally,for AliG.

Couple of picks of Ali working on a fan..you raise the poles to different heights to get them using their abs.(Ali had knocked one off but we left it as the camera was playing up)
Rachel and Ce emphassised that there is no right and wrong on distances as it all makes the horse think and letting them make mistakes is important so they learn to think and not panick when things go wrong.

Monday, 14 April 2008

Ahhh mad with myself!!!!!!!!!

Well im back in the saddle but didnt stay there too long when I rode AliG and it my own stupid fault!

The morning started off well rode Polo out with M and he felt a million times better Ellie couldnt keep up with his walk,which is a good sign, and he was pretty sharp and spooky so must be feeling better in himself:)
I was frozen time we got back so decided to go home to warm up then head back up after dinner to do something with Ali.

Well obviously I must have been on a bit of a high and common sense and reason flew out of the window!
I'd done 20mins rope circling with him last night so 'thought' he'd be okay for a short hack up the lane just to get him out as he's not been ridden in a good few weeks then tomorrow OH had said he'd walk out with us after tea to get Ali out on a circular route with him acting as back up 'just incase'.
I changed my mind and decided to go in the school if free but due to holiday time its been pretty busy and of course it was being used when we got there so I figured we'd go for a short hack.
He started of fine just with the odd 'oh can we turn back' moments but seemed to settle and was walking nicely.Well instead of being happy with that and leaving it there for the day I started thinking do I really want to turn him for home so soon incase he thinks his rides are getting shorter and shorter and he starts the silliness early next ride.So I decided to go up the field round and back that being a loopy sort of ride.
He walked up the field well if a bit distracted due to a man walking his terriers who were bouncing in the bushes we then turned right along the top of the field and other than a couple of jogs he was ok although not what I call settled.Then just as we were about to go through the gap in the hedge (the one he's been through before) I think someone came into the garden ,a house runs along the top of the field,giving him a huge fright.He shot off to the right down the field full pelt I thought I nearly had him under control as I'd managed to shorten the left rein and pull him towards the hedge but he swerved right at the last second and I could feel myself going ...luckily it was a soft landing!
He took off down the field, the guy with the dogs had his car parked at the entrance to the track so Ali turned right bucking and broncing as he was going.Ali then turned back obviously thinking the other way is home so he shot past the car onto the road.I ran down the field and the guy said jump in so off we went following him down the road:0
I was cringing thinking he's going to gallop all the way home along the road here but thankfully he spotted the horse's from the riding school in the field and stopped at their gateway.I jumped out the car and caught him he was pretty spooked so I let him settle while I sorted saddle out then spotted both stirrups were missing.
The guy drove back to the field to look for them so I thought rather than wait i'd lead Ali back along and look.Ali was not happy having to go back and tried to plant twice but I rocked him and he followed me he was a little jumpy but not OTT. We found one stirrup and I thanked the guy and said I'd come back along and look later and I led Ali home.
I thought it was important to get back on him straight away so when we got back into the farm I put my one stirrup on and mounted then rode him around the yard for a few minutes....he seemed fine no panicking.

Anyway im really kicking myself I should have taken it more carefully as he'd not had any work for a 3weeks(I think it is)the trouble is I feel like im struggling to crack on with him because of his legs but he feels like he needs more work if that makes sense..
Im not decided about whether to spend two weeks long reining him out or if its important to get as much work done under saddle now while his confidence is rattled,my OH has said he'll walk out with us and my brother is always willing to help so either way I'll have backup....still mad at myself:(

Friday, 11 April 2008

Winter out..Spring in!?!?

The neds that is!
Ive brought them in over night the past few days,its either hail stoning or pouring down with rain so the fields a mud bath..it madness they've been out all winter and ive had to bring them in now!:0
AliG is not remotely bothered but Polo is looking fed up by it all so older boy gets priority and they are both in:))
When I was up tonight Ali was off in the field grazing but Polo spotted me so came to the gate wanting to be in,it was pelting down with rain.So I got him him and was picking feet out when I heard this high pitch whinny looked up and Ali was at the gate as if to say "come on im here now!"
I have been a busy bee though I turfed both their stables out yesterday scrubbed Polo's mats,hosed and disenfected then painted the walls.

Im feeling cautiously optimistic about Ali's leg there is no swelling there now with only a hint of heat at times,ive been hosing it religiously and was using the ice boot until he decided to pull it off and rip it up!:0
Im wary about getting him back to work too quickly incase I jeopardize the lesson ive booked (and paid for ) at the end on May,particularly after the last splint, but weather permitting might try a couple of ground work session's in the next couple of days and see if there's any reaction in the leg.

Ive also been to see a stallion with Ellie's owner today as she's putting her in foal...it wasnt a very good specimen I have to say!

Friday, 4 April 2008


Nothing much to report re my two this week.
Rode Polo mid week and he didnt feel too bad but still not right so im going to wait for the physio to come out.
I 'think' ive caught Ali's splint(if thats what it is) nice and early been cold hosing and putting the ice boot on twice a day.There is a slight amount of heat so im being extra cautious after the other one took so long to settle and going to rest him for a couple of weeks.Its maddening cos he so fat and we just seem to be getting somewhere and yet again im having to stop but I know after the last one not to push my luck!Ive got a lesson booked at the end of May so im hoping couple weeks rest now then start back so he's got a couple of weeks work under his belt before the lesson...well thats the plan:0

Today I had a blast riding Jo's daughters little pone.He'll be lucky if he's 12hh but im not being cruel honest he's built like a brick sh#thouse all huge body with these short legs,plus im only 5ft and was assured I didnt look ridiculously big on him:)
He started off feeling crooked and irritable but after a little while he seemed to loosen up and was stomping along leading all the way there and back.I rode most of the way with no stirrups it just felt more comfortable with his dinky pony movement and put my treeless on.I didNOT like the look of the treed saddle they use on him.
What a little star he is so determind to be infront and basically made a mockery of Jo's and YO's much bigger horses.:) We had a couple of canters,I avoided the trot as it was so fast I couldnt rise and didnt want to stay on his back with being a bit too big for him.I could feel him relax and start to lengthen his walk towards the end instead of taking more hurried steps.
Jo rode him yesterday and he seemed irritable and with lots of head tossing and pulling,Jo is alot bigger than me so not sure if it was this,the saddle of he just appreciated the way I rode him but either way I had fun!